The first time Daron Hardy appeared before Judge Susana Ortiz for a bail hearing was June 27, 2021. That’s the day prosecutors charged him with illegally carrying a handgun at a gas station. She released him on his own recognizance but also set special conditions.
“Mr. Hardy, you are not to be in possession of weapons or firearms,” Ortiz said. “You understand?”
“I have a [license to own firearms], though, ma’am,” Hardy replied. “How does that work?”
“And I’m your judge and I’m telling you the conditions of your bond. Do you understand me?”
“I was just asking.”
“Right,” Ortiz continued. “How that works is I’m saying you can’t possess firearms. Do you understand?”
“Additionally,” Ortiz concluded, “if you have any remaining firearms or permits, you are to surrender those.”
It’s not clear if another judge subsequently reversed Ortiz’s order. But on Monday, with that gun case still pending, Hardy, 25, appeared before Ortiz for another bail hearing. This time, he was being charged with murder for allegedly shooting his own brother to death. Ortiz ordered him held without bail.
He is the seventh person charged with killing or shooting — or trying to shoot or kill — someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony.
Prosecutors said a witness and Hardy returned to Hardy’s home early Sunday after a night out at a bar. They hung out with Hardy’s brother, Darnell, 26, but the brothers started to argue and then physically fought each other, Assistant State’s Attorney Norma Amofa-Loza said.
At one point, Daron Hardy fell, and his older brother punched him several times in the face before retreating to a bedroom and closing the door, according to Amofa-Loza.
Daron Hardy allegedly retrieved a rifle, stood outside the bedroom where his brother went, and fired a shot through the door. Then, he kicked the door open and shot Darnell Hardy one time in the chest, Amofa-Loza alleged.
She said the older brother’s hands were at his side when he was shot. He died at the scene.
The witness hanging out with the brothers took the rifle away from Hardy and left the house, Amofa-Loza continued. He called 911 and drove the gun to a friend’s home. Then, he went to a West Side police station and told cops where they could find the gun.
A second witness and Daron Hardy also called 911 to report the shooting.
CPD body cameras recorded Hardy saying he intended to shoot his brother in the foot, not kill him, Amofa-Loza said.
Prosecutors charged him with first-degree murder.
After Ortiz ordered Hardy into custody Monday, he again spoke out in court. Ortiz advised him not to talk about his case.
“I just wanted to see my brother at his funeral,” Hardy told her.
“All right, sir,” the judge replied. “That’s not something I’m going to entertain at this time.”
Editor’s note: This report continues our coverage of individuals who have been charged with murder, attempted murder, or trying to kill a person while on bond for a pending felony case. CWBChicago began our series of reports in November 2019 after Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans publicly stated, “we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur” under the court’s bond reform initiative.
The actual number of murders and shootings committed by people on felony bail is undoubtedly much higher than the numbers seen here. Since 2017, CPD has made arrests in just 4% of shootings and 31% of murders, according to the city’s data. You can support CWBChicago’s work by becoming a subscriber today.